New Fayette county rail yard set to bring thousands of jobs

By Justin Hanson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

The Mid-South's distribution power is being strengthened. Norfolk Southern Railroad recently announced that Fayette County will soon be home to one of its largest intermodal rail yards.

The new rail yard will be located on a 570-acre site that was formerly a cattle ranch.

"Everybody that's looking for a job is going to be looking at this site," said Fayette County Mayor Rhea Taylor.

By January 2012, the site just east of Collierville will be home to one of the largest inter-modal rail yards east of the Mississippi River. The hub will be a place where cranes can transfer goods between trucks and trains.

The new rail yard is expected to bring over eleven thousand jobs to the area.

"That includes the whole region - Shelby, Fayette, Hardeman county, North Mississippi," Taylor continued.

When the intermodal yard is completed, it will be part of the Crescent Corridor, which connects rail yards in the Northeast through the Mid-South all the way to the Gulf Coast.

But residents like Woody Degan say Fayette County isn't prepared for something like this.  Degan's airport sits just north of the rail yard site, and he's afraid it will bring flooding to the area.

"I have two creeks that converge on the north end of my property that is coming directly from the rail yard," he said. "In fact, they moved the rail yard so they could dump water into those creeks."

Officials say water filtration plans are in place to prevent flooding.

The towns or Rossville and Piperton are also upgrading their water and sewer systems prior to the opening.

But this rural area doesn't have much time to prepare before the railroad comes to town.

Fayette county officials say the rail yard's closest resident lives a half mile away.  Noise and lights from this new rail yard shouldn't be a concern either.

Once built, the facility will actually sit about twenty feet below the Earth's surface.

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